And that’s a wrap. 67,800 words of “Regent.” For those of you reading along from the beginning, congratulations. Anyone who has commented here or sent me a note, I appreciate your input and it all goes to make the story better.
I’ll be doing some editing and formatting for a day or two before dropping this load onto my copyeditor. At the same time, I’ll see if my cover designer has not frozen to death in central Germany to prod her into action. With chance and luck, I can have this commercially available by the end of January.
A shorter entry as things happen very fast after this. Not feeling well and fretting again, I was up early, taking some notes. I may have an idea how I want to wrap this book up around 70k words or so. Long, for me. But it will also intermesh with at least one if not two more. Given I nearly throttled someone at DayJob today, I might have lots of time on my hands in a few weeks.
I also looked at my short story backlog. Six (technically seven but one is spoken for, being published somewhere else) with a small novella at the core, much as I did “Empire’s Agent & Other Short Stories.” I’ll need at least two more. I’ve been shown almost nothing about tribe Arpeggio; that’s a possibility. India and Australia seem to be functioning countries… I wonder what they are up to? More drinking, more notes.
Speaking of: yes, I make a IT Customer Service joke below.
Right on the heels of hearing the wife of a Crown Prince is not allowed to travel, Aurie gets another shock to learn Jimmy Burns is no longer just under house arrest but the authorities are transferring him to the provincial capital. Without her older friend there for her, she might have started two wars in five minutes.
As an encore, Colour then goes on to suggest a way out of this mess, with her nephew on the Northern Federation’s Governing Council playing a part.
Starting, or I suppose, resuming, in the next installment we are back to Jimmy’s perspective. I must have had a lot to cover as I already lay down about 3300 words. This is morphing into my largest book ever.
We confirm something I’ve long suspected about Henge. I mentioned in my writing exercise, Cadets (pts 1-4), but until published in meatspace I don’t really consider some idea I play with to be canonical. As this MS also isn’t published, Henge’s condition is not technically set but I’m proceeding as if it is. I do wonder: if she could ever find another functioning fusion reactor or engine, and put herself into the equipotential flux point, could she reassemble her body? Pull nanomaterials from some other point of herself to fashion eggs? She’d certainly need help from the Thinking Machines to do that.
And, shedding? A regenerative effect? That was completely new to me, as well.
I like how Aurie is so unassuming: a bar of soap to wash a Regent’s hair? No fancy shampoos and conditioners for her!
This was a surprise. I am as curious as y’all are to know if Lefevre was sent by Ottawa, Quebec, or is acting on his own? It also implies that the Catholicism of the imperial family is common knowledge. I do see already that Aurie politely demands he and his entourage be her guests for the evening. Guess Colour is getting kicked out of her VIP tent…
I kid. I’m sure they have have several extra. Hmmm. Was Aurelia an altar server as a kid? Be funny if she, general and princess, helps with Mass. Unlike the Empress, I think Aurie would be happy to. We’ll see.
Vet appt for new puppy, Yuki, this morning. All seems well but he’s a little tired and cranky from a couple of shots. Then I had to repair one of our toilets; normally not a big deal but my left hand is not very functional right now (switd?) due to a ganglion cyst, so I nearly threw my back out contorting myself.
I now think I can turn this into a novel. That means one thing which implies another: a 50,000-word count minimum (currently just over 12k) and I cannot just jettison the reason I started this; that is, Colour. There is precedent in my other works where a demi basically tells a human, “follow me,” and expects it to be done. And here it is again. I have a suspicion this mature lady is about to have her world turned upside down.
I’m going to try to accelerate this story and turn it into a book. My cover designer and her children in Germany are reduced to sneaking into the woods at night to glean firewood for the coming winter. A so-called first world country. F*cking Progs. If I can turn this into a book that’s another $300 for her and her fam.
With Filk’s arrival, Aurie turns the teasing up to “11.” A little exposition. And then a demonstration of raw power.
Not going to dwell on no posting again. RealLife comes for all of us every now and then.
“New Russia,” the working title of my next MS, ground to something of a halt in chapter three. It was turning into another military story. I wrote a trilogy about those and do not want to get sucked into the details of TOEs and campaign planning yet again.
From my “try to so something different” file, I considered: I’ve war, politics, espionage, romance, romance/horror, and even slice-of-life. What to do?
Took the dogs for walks in nice weather. Stared at maps of Canada. Would I have to abandon this particular project and start from scratch? Sgt. Sergei Konev and his scout team are driving to Saskatoon to see if it is under the ice, like Edmonton. Wait. Who is the old man in the horse-drawn cart coming south? From the wares on the cart, he looks like a typical dystopian tinker. Through his field glasses, as the Tigr (the Russian version of a Hummer) slows, Konev is puzzled. He looks old; not old. Sick; not sick. His eyes are black and dead but the skin of his arms and hands holding the reins like that of a young man.
Mystery. Not as in “whodunit,” but more like mysticism. Early in my books the collapse of the US and W Europe was called the Breakup. By “Foes and Rivals,” it was beginning to be known as the the Change. A few sensitive people – humans and Machines – were waking up to the fact that reality was not what it had been. That is what I am going to explore. Beginning with Cartaphilus.
One last time: if you’ve any thoughts – besides “he said there would be a war” – I’m working on that in chapter three, please let me know.
This short is the final piece of chapter one. And for those of you who have read, or shall soon be reading, “Obligations of Rank,” you’ll recognize who shows up in the last scene. As this book will be from Sergei Konev’s POV, I’ll not let this particular cat out of the bag.